One of the most serious environmental problems facing the whole world is environmental pollution caused by household and industrial wastes. In most cases they are toxic, chemically active, and contain concentragen components. Disposal of untreated hazardous waste in landfills and sea depths is not a reliable way to neutralize environmental impact.
In Europe alone, several million tons of packaging are produced annually. Of these, only 29% is processed to produce various types of products and about 30% is sent to combustion. In Europe as a whole, 50% of polymer waste is disposed of using various technologies. Other types of packaging from combined materials today accumulate in landfills and landfills, increase the share of environmentally hazardous waste.With aluminum containers, things are much better, because in comparison with the processing of glass containers, recycling aluminum waste is more economical. The aluminum can is considered the most recycled packaging in the world. It can be recycled an unlimited number of times, which does not affect the quality of the newly manufactured cans. Today, an aluminum can is the most civilized packaging.The dynamic growth of demand for natural products and the widespread interest of consumers in healthy nutrition is gaining momentum. This is inextricably linked to the need for environmentally friendly packaging for such products. It should be made from natural raw materials (renewable resources) and easily processed for reuse, such as cardboard. In the modern world, cardboard and paper account for about 45-50% of the total volume of packaging produced.A special class of modern packaging materials that can compete with pulp and paper products in the future are cheap, environmentally friendly, plastics – biodegradable polymers that are introduced into production and gradually begin to displace inorganic plastics. Biodegradable polymers are derived from renewable plant materials — corn, potatoes, legumes, wheat, beets, tapioca, poplar and aspen, which can be used almost continuously. For example, polylactide can decompose completely within 45 days.
In Europe and America, successes in solving environmental problems are actively promoted, festivals and contests dedicated to environmental packaging are held, the state and public organizations urge designers to clean store shelves from harmful products. So, in the UK, industrial designer Neil Barron presented his version of the eco bottle called Tap Top at the London on Tap eco-design festival. The goal of the project is the refusal of the eco-conscious consumer from bottled mineral water in plastic bottles. The presence of a legislative framework at the European Union (EU) level, developed infrastructure, and Europeans’ understanding of the importance of combating environmental pollution have made Europe the leading region in the global recycling industry. The most “prosperous” country in terms of plastic processing is Germany. Here, 9 out of 10 residents sort household waste at home. Thus, the process of developing and using new environmentally friendly materials is at the initial stage. In addition to introducing technologies for the production of non-waste packaging materials, a search is needed for other solutions to the environmental problem. Solid waste (MSW) utilization must be developed in one of three areas, which can be identified as the most promising. In “recycling” the main role belongs to chemists, biologists and technologists.
Essay by: Olga Rau Pierce